"Girlfight" knocks you on your backside from its very first image -- a powerful close-up of the pure fury in the eyes of its heroine, a dangerous 15-year-old girl from the projects with a propensity for between-class brawls at her high school.
Exploding with her intense focus and attitude, the shot is like something from "Raging Bull," and that's no coincidence. The film is about fierce, angry, intelligent Diana Guzman (Michelle Rodriguez) finding an outlet for her fire and ire by becoming a boxer -- and I don't mean a woman who punches the heavy bag as a trendy form of exercise. I mean a teenage girl who can get into the amateur ring with men and send them to the mat -- hard.
All temper and fists with no control as the film begins, Diana strong-arms her way into training at a broken-down Brooklyn gym alongside aspiring male boxers. The first female interloping in this sweaty, testosterone world, she's given a supply closet as a makeshift girls' locker room and strives to tune her raw power into precision and stamina with help of a washed-up boxer-turned-coach (Jaime Tirelli) who surprises even himself by believing in her.
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